Today I introduced new legislation which will significantly increase the payout available to air accident victims on domestic flights and make it easier for them to access this compensation.
The Aviation Legislation Amendment (Liability and Insurance) Bill 2012 increases the cap on payouts from $500,000 to $725,000.
While Australia has a proud aviation safety record, it is important we continue to strengthen protections for people flying domestically.
The increase in the cap is the right thing to do to ensure that victims of air accidents and their families are adequately compensated. It brings the cap, which has not been adjusted since 1994, into the 21st century to reflect current costs, rather than those of nearly two decades ago.
The level of mandatory insurance for airlines is also being increased by the same amount to ensure that adequate funds are available for proper compensation of air accident victims and their families.
Together, these important reforms will ensure that airlines move quickly to a fair settlement with victims and their families in the event of an air accident.
The changes to the compensation laws will move Australia closer into line with international practices established under the Montreal Convention and implemented by over 100 countries around the world.
The Bill continues this Government’s comprehensive overhaul of consumer protection arrangements for airline passengers announced in Australia’s first Aviation White Paper.